Preparing to sell a home is a busy time for property owners. It takes effort to throw away old stuff, clean the house, improve the curb appeal, and make necessary repairs. Property owners want to know about home improvements that add value to the property. Discover some of the best ROI home improvement ideas for real estate agents to share with sellers.
All Repairs Are Not Created Equal
Many sellers wrongly assume all repairs will yield a positive return. As a result, a property owner may invest thousands of dollars in home improvements without making any of this money back when they sell the house. A well-informed real estate agent helps sellers decide how to get the most bang for their buck. Let sellers know all home repairs are not created equal as some are winners and others are sure to become frustratingly disappointing. While some might not boost the value of the property, they might be required to help the home sell. For example, issues detected during a home inspection might require remediation before the house can be sold.
Factors That Impact the Value of Repairs
Several factors influence the value of home improvement projects. Make sellers aware of them before they grab a hammer:
- Specific improvements have value based on the season, such as a well-maintained swimming pool during the summer or a functional wood-burning stove in the winter
- Location plays a role as few people are concerned about updated heating systems in areas such as Southern California
- Competing houses being sold in the area at the same time can dictate some of the features, and improvements buyers expect
- The current market plays a role in the value of home improvements – for example, a fixer-upper sells for more during a seller’s market regardless of the repairs needed
Focus on Flooring
One of the first features people notice about a home is the floor. If the tiles are cracked or discolored, replace the noticeably unattractive ones. Carpeting often appears outdated and worn unless it is new. And frequently, buyers want different colors or textures than the ones chosen by the sellers. Instead of replacing carpets, have them cleaned. If hardwood floors are hiding under the rugs, make the most of them. Take up the carpeting and refinish the hardwood floors, as many buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with wood flooring.
If It Leaks, Fix It
Replacing plumbing systems and the roof can add up to thousands of dollars a seller might never get back. However, if it leaks, it must be fixed before showing the property. Often a professional roofing service can replace shingles to repair a leak. Buyers are also sure to notice dripping faucets and running toilets. Hire a plumber to fix these problems rather than investing in new fixtures. And, remember to fix the telltale signs of a recent leak by cleaning or painting the area.
Put On a Coat
Few home repairs yield a better ROI than adding a coat of paint to the walls, ceilings, exterior, and cabinetry. For a minimal investment, sellers realize a maximum return. Transform outdated rooms into modern ones by choosing fresh, neutral hues. Scrape away popcorn ceilings that instantly announce the house is old then spackle and paint them for a smooth texture. Peel off wallpaper and replace it with a coat of paint. Want to make a well-worn kitchen look like new? Paint dark or stained cabinets a light color to make the room appear clean and spacious.
Many buyers want green features in a home. Saving energy and protecting resources for future generations have become top priorities. Swap out old-fashioned lighting fixtures for smart new ones. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. If possible, get an energy audit then make no-cost and low-cost updates to show the home is green. Share the audit reports and updates with potential buyers to show them how much they can save on utility cost by purchasing an energy-efficient house.
Look at the Bathroom With Fresh Eyes
Homeowners use the bathroom frequently and become accustomed to its appearance. Encourage sellers to view the bath with fresh eyes to see it from a buyer’s perspective. While a total renovation might not be cost-effective or practical, affordable updates go a long way. Swap out a stained toilet seat with a clean one and install a modern vanity to replace one from decades ago. Small renovations can add up to significant returns when the house is sold.
Consider the Curb Appeal
There’s only one chance to make a great first impression on buyers. Most potential buyers decide whether they want to view a house based on its exterior. Tell sellers to clear out old toys and garbage, mow the lawn, and weed the walkways. Add seasonal plants for a dash of color and class. Potted plants are an excellent way to enhance the curb appeal without spending hours – and hundreds of dollars – on gardening. Place solar lights to illuminate the property after dark within the cost of installing electrical units. Share exterior photos on social media to generate interest in the property. Betters Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agents spread the word quickly about available listings by tapping into a robust social media network to attract leads. Sharing some of the best ROI home improvement ideas with sellers makes an agent a valued resource. Create a list of local resources for clients to use and encourage reciprocal referrals from other professionals. Agents who share money-saving information with clients are sure to get repeat business and referrals.